Many men throughout history have been on the verge of greatness only to pass into oblivion because of convictions which would not let them compromise with expediency. Joseph Rogers Underwood was such a man, for he placed great importance upon duty, integrity and responsibility. The high values which he placed upon these virtues cost him the renomination for senator by the Kentucky Legislature in 1851. As the Louisville Daily Democrat, an opposition newspaper, so brilliantly stated about this election:
"The whig (sic) party in the Legislature have at last compromised the divisions among themselves, and elected a Senator nobody wanted.
Mr. Underwood, like Sambo's man of God, was most unceremoniously laid upon the shelf to dry, being of no further use to the party."
The principles which Underwood championed not only cost him this re-election, but caused him to look back upon his life and to contemplate whether there was any justice in his worldly life. Underwood's high set of values did more to elevate him to many of his positions throughout his life; and these values were the keynote of his life.
American Politics | History | Political Science | United States History
Brashear, Ralph Ward, "Joseph Rogers Underwood - A Representative Nineteenth Century American" (1968). History Theses. Paper 1.